If you believe in God and angelic influence in our lives, then you have to believe in the devil and demonic (fallen angel) influence in our lives as well.
The bible not only gives examples of the devil influencing our behavior…
Luke 22:3-4 (NKJV)
3 Then Satan entered Judas, surnamed Iscariot, who was numbered among the twelve. 4 So he went his way and conferred with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray Him to them.
But, it also makes it clear that even some doctrines taught in the church have demonic origins…
1 Timothy 4:1 (NKJV)
Now the Spirit [a]expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons,
It’s unfortunate that from race, to religion, to fraternal organizations, to business, to ‘heritage’, to family…too many cultures and traditions have either intentionally or unintentionally been established and endured due to demonic influence.
If it contradicts the word of God, then it’s not of God.
God has given us clear insight in how to tell if there’s been demonic influence in culture or tradition, but too many times we ignore, justify or excuse it because we’re too committed to our traditions etc.,
Mark 7:7-9 (NRSV)
7 in vain do they worship me,
teaching human precepts as doctrines.’
8 You abandon the commandment of God and hold to human tradition.”
9 Then he said to them, “You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition!
The knowledge is available, but too many times we choose willful ignorance…
Hosea 4:6 (NKJV)
6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.
Because you have rejected knowledge,
I also will reject you from being priest for Me;
Because you have forgotten the law of your God,
I also will forget your children.
Here’s some explicit, biblical examples of how to tell if a culture or tradition has been established or influenced by demons…
1. IT CONTRADICTS THE WORD OF GOD…
This one was stated above, but let me give you a perfect example that someone is sure to deflect, justify or explain because the feel compelled to continue the tradition. Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus Christ), and the Book of James clearly tells us to never swear an oath and goes on to say that when we do IT IS FROM THE DEVIL…, but from court, to public office, to public servants to the military, the tradition has been established to make the first act of office or service A SIN by swearing an oath. It’s even written in the United States constitution to ‘swear or affirm’. But, the Lord said…
Matthew 5:34-37 (NKJV)
34 But I say to you, do not swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35 nor by the earth, for it is His footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 36 Nor shall you swear by your head, because you cannot make one hair white or black. 37 But let [a]your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.
James 5:12 (NKJV)
12 But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath. But let your “Yes” be “Yes,” and your “No,” “No,” lest you fall into [a]judgment.
One way the devil gets demonic traditions to survive for thousands of years is to convince people they are depriving their children of something. For example, God made it clear that we should not only avoid to worship pagan Gods, but to refrain from allowing their names to come from out lips…
Joshua 23: 7(NKJV)
7 and lest you go among these nations, these who remain among you. You shall not MAKE MENTION OF THE NAME of their gods, nor cause anyone to swear by them; you shall not serve them nor bow down to them,
The devil has convinced well-meaning Christians to blaspheme every time they mention a day meant to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ by calling it by the name of a pagan goddess. This tradition is so established that not only do many Christians not know why it’s called Easter, but they feel compelled to defend it once the find out that it and it’s traditions are pagan. Celebrate without calling it Easter and ‘hunting eggs’ NAMES MATTER (WHY WE SHOULD STOP CALLING EASTER…EASTER)
2. IT’S BASED ON PRIDE
God hates pride and explicitly forbids it. However, from family, to nation, to race, to organizations, people proclaim that pride is a part of the culture and tradition.
Proverbs 16:18 (NKJV)
18 Pride goes before destruction,
And a haughty spirit before [a]a fall.
James 4:6 (NKJV)
6 But He gives more grace. Therefore He says:
“God resists the proud,
But gives grace to the humble.”
Anytime we feel compelled to use the word pride, thankful is always more appropriate
3. WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO TO BECOME A PART OF IT OR PARTICIPATE
There are so many cultures and organizations that either force people to sin to become a part of them, or to sin to participate in them. One thing that I couldn’t ignore when I was living on campus when going to college is the sinful behavior in which pledges (of all races) had to participate to become a part of a fraternity or sorority. And, once a member some frats very reputation was of sinful promiscuity and overindulgence in alcohol (watch some people push back on this one)…
It’s amazing that despite how easy God makes it to become a part of His organization (The Body of Christ or the church) that we can make it so difficult to become a part of some of ours.
Many toxic corporate and organizational cultures flourish because people are forced to make unethical and ungodly decisions. Many of these cultures pervert what God calls strength… FOR THOSE WHO PERVERT WHAT GOD CALLS TRUE STRENGTH…
4. IT EXPLICITLY HONORS THE DEVIL
God takes names very seriously. He changed Jacob’s name to Israel. He changed Abram’s name to Abraham. He changed Sarai’s name to Sarah. He continuously reiterated the fact that He takes His own names very seriously…
Exodus 20:7 (NKJV)
7 “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.
So this being said, why would anyone want to name a sports team with a name that has anything to do with the devil or devils? You literally has to shout cheers for the devil to support the team! WHY AREN’T CHRISTIANS CONCERNED WITH TEAMS WITH A DEVIL AS THE MASCOT…
This short list is by no means exhaustive, but hopefully it provokes thought and conversation about what it truly important to God.